Enable Joomla’s Search Engine Friendly URLs – Open Source Training

Enable Joomla’s Search Engine Friendly URLs

This week we’ll walk you through how to enable Search Engine Friendly (SEF) URLs in Joomla.

This mystical feat requires no extensions!

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Go to the Administration area of your Joomla site and Global Configuration (or in the menus, site >> Global Configuration).
  2. In the ‘Site’ settings, on the right you will see ‘SEO Settings’, click on the ‘Yes’ radio button to enable Search Engine Friendly URLs

That’s it! You have just enabled SEF URLs for your site. However, if you would like to clean up the URLs even more, read on…

To shorten up the URLs ever more, follow the next steps:

  1. Select ‘Yes’ for the option to use Apache mod_rewrite *ONLY if you are on a server that uses Apache (which will most likely be the case, but if you’re unsure check with your hosting company).
  2. Go to your joomla_root directory and locate the file named htaccess.txt and rename the file to .htaccess (notice the proceeding dot . ) This can be done either via FTP, or by following our newsletter on How to Manage Directory Files from Joomla Admin to access your joomla_root directory and the htaccess.txt file.

You should now have nice clean URLs that are human readable.

If you find that upon trying to visit links in your site’s menus you are getting 404 errors, you can simply go back to your configuration area and set the ‘Use Apache mod_rewrite‘ option to ‘No’, and rename your .htaccess back to htaccess.txt Your issue should clear up after.

Additionally, should you wish to add a suffix after your URL (.html for example), you may select the third option in the SEO Settings ‘Add suffix to URLs’.

As always, if you need any help with this feel free to post in our forum for support if you are a member.

via Enable Joomla’s Search Engine Friendly URLs – Open Source Training.

Using the Alias as the Page Title for Joomla SEO – Alledia

Using the Alias as the Page Title for Joomla SEO

I had the pleasure of talking to Phil Braddock, a Melbourne based Joomla developer, over the Christmas holidays.

He runs Salsa Internet and is someone who comes at Joomla from the perspective of someone focused on trying to improve Joomla’s SEO performance. There seems to be an increasing number of us! As the number of people wanting to use Joomla increases, a lot of people are working out how to improve its less SEO-friendly aspects.

One of those is inability to create a unique meta title that might be different from what actually appears on the page. To give an example from Phil’s site, his portfolio page is simple has the words “Portfolio > Websites” on the top of the content item. That makes sense to a reader, but is next to useless if it was also the meta title. Look up to the browser bar however, and you’ll see the page’s actual meta title is: “Joomla Web Design and Client Website Portfolio of our work, Melbourne, Australia”. Stuffed with valuable keywords!

How did he do this? In Joomla content items you have the “Title” and the “Title Alias”. Often people don’t utilize the alias field, but with a little hacking you can add your super-duper meta title in the “Title Alias” field and still have your nice simple title on the page.

What do you need to do? Follow these five simple instructions:

via Using the Alias as the Page Title for Joomla SEO – Alledia.

SEO Search Engine Optimization Analyst Proficency

SEO Proficiency

SEO is the activity of optimizing Web sites or specific pages to make them more search-engine-friendly, thus getting elevated positions in search results. This will improve the volume or quality of traffic to a web site or page from search engines’ search results. A search engine optimizer edits the contents related to a website and their programming code to increase its relevance to defined keywords and to remove barriers to the process of indexing activities of search engines.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities:
• Organic search engine optimization (SEO) multiple domains.
• Link building
• Web 2.0 practices and social networking.
• Blogging/Content creation
• Remain current on all changes relating to SEO & SEM.
• Using web tools to track site traffic, rankings, and conversions.
• Identifying and implementing strategies for increasing site traffic through organic search listings and link building.
• Researching and resolving HTML code and content, link architecture and navigation issues.
• Modifying the layout and/or content of web pages based on web traffic data in order to increase conversion ratios.
• Coordinating content creation for multiple sites.
• Keyword research using Keyword Discovery, WordTracker, Google Keyword Tool, etc.
• Coordinate with internal team members to accomplish SEO tasks.

Skills and Specifications:

• Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
• Ability to manage details, overall flexibility and efficient work habits.
• Ability to multi-task and work in a fast-paced environment
Education and Qualifications:
• Excellent Internet and computer skills
• Clear understanding of all aspects of SEO, pay-per-click advertising (SEM)
• At least 4 years of Search Engine Optimization experience.

• Proficient in the use of job related software including:

• Internet Explorer
• Firefox
• Chrome
• Word
• Outlook
• WebCEO
• Internet Business Professional (IBP)
• Excel
• Dreamweaver
• FTP clients
• Photoshop, Fireworks or other image editing software
• Webmaster Tools (Google, Yahoo, Bing)
• XML Sitemapping software
• Google Analytics
• Strong coding knowledge (HTML, PHP, MySQL, CSS, XHTML)
• Wordpress

Social Media Checklist for Small and Medium Size Businesses – ClickZ

Nine Questions to Ask When Developing a Social Media Marketing Strategy

Small and medium-sized businesses tend to be so focused on keeping their businesses going that it can be difficult to brainstorm on ways to leverage the dynamic social media environment. Here are nine questions to help you think about your business in ways that enable you to maximize your social media marketing efforts.

  1. Does your business tap into people’s passions and/or hobbies?
  2. Can your business show off its work?
  3. Can you give prospects information they find useful?
  4. Can you extend your expertise to a broader audience?
  5. Does your business provide reasons for people to gather?
  6. Can your business disseminate fun or related information via social media?
  7. Are there targeted or niche communities where your prospects and customers naturally congregate?

  8. Do major blogs cover your business’s area of expertise?
  9. Does your offering lend itself to creating a small online community and/or bulletin board?

Seven Tips to Extend Social Media Marketing Efforts

As a small or medium-sized business, it’s important to think about how to extend your social media efforts and to integrate these initiatives into your ongoing marketing plans. (For more information on developing an online marketing strategy, click here.) Here are seven tips to help you:

  1. Listen before you participate. While social media can help small and medium-sized businesses appear bigger than they are, it’s critical not to promote, promote, promote.
  2. Monitor what’s being said about your business. This includes a variety of social media offerings including blogs, review sites like Yelp and niche communities, and discussion groups.
  3. Integrate social media efforts offline. Provide retail prospects with a similar experience through an old-fashioned bulletin board with photographs or handouts containing how-to information.
  4. Promote social media efforts online and offline. Include your Web site, e-mailings, direct mail, local advertising, in-store postings, flyers, business cards, and correspondence.
  5. Socialize social media marketing. Ask visitors, prospects, and customers to visit your social media installations and share their experiences. Don’t overlook traditional ways to extend your business such as local events like Rotary and local sports teams such as Little League.
  6. Create a content strategy. (For additional insights on content strategy, click here.) Develop an editorial calendar for content creation to ensure that you don’t get stuck thinking of what to write, especially when using Twitter and blogs where customers expect regular servings of information.
  7. Make content search-friendly. Use relevant search keywords and tags and add text to photographs and video to aid findability.

Measuring the Results of Your Social Media Marketing Efforts

Since many small and medium-sized businesses don’t spend lots of time using fancy metrics, here are the main factors to keep your business on track.

  • Revenues.
  • Expenses.
  • Prospects and customers.
  • Feedback.

Remember there are many ways to engage your business in social media. Consider the options and test what works best for your offering.

read full story by – ClickZ.

Top 10 SEO Campaign Optimization Checklist

So without further ado, the top 10 common oversights in basic search best practices:

1. Failure to track; track the right things; or track at the right level: You would think that I wouldn’t even have to mention tracking, but sometimes marketers don’t measure and track what matters, or measure and track at all. And remember: the closer you can get to tracking immediate and long-term profit, the better. ROAS — return on advertising spending — is a good proxy if your margin is consistent and none of your customers have different lifetime value profiles, but the real world isn’t always quite so predictable.

2. Leaving the content network on, without testing: Just because the default is to leave content on, that doesn’t mean it’s the right decision for you. Contextual advertising can be valuable, but it can also mean running your ads in front of searchers who are less interested in what you have to sell. Often, it works best in segregated campaigns.

3. Poor foundational keyword research and expansion: Keyword research never stops. While there’s a point of diminishing marginal returns to adding additional exact match keywords to a campaign, most businesses change over time, requiring a review of keyword opportunities. Seasonal businesses require even more vigilance. Don’t lose business opportunities by missing keyword opportunities.

4. Wrong mix of match types, including negative match: Exact match is great for getting quality scores high, and therefore being able to afford high positions less expensively. However, you still need some phrase and broad match listings to catch the searches that the exact match listings will miss. Be sure you’ve got the correct balance of exact and broad match — of reach and precision — in your campaign.

5. Poor account structure: Revisit your campaign to make sure you haven’t taken shortcuts — like cramming too many keywords into an ad group. This problem exacerbates when keyword phrases look similar in meaning — and you’re left with ad copy that doesn’t include the optimal phrases that were searched on. Remember: searchers look for ads that are an obvious match, so be sure you’ve structured your keyword lists in ways that will truly let you take advantage of searchers’ queries.

6. Bids managed at the wrong level: Each keyword phrase is in its own auction, and therefore bidding decisions should be made granularly except in the cases of extremely low-volume keywords.

7. Landing pages selected too broadly: If user intent is different between two keywords, make sure the keywords get different landing pages particularly if you have unique landing pages available on your site already. And remember: the best landing page may not be the one that has the exact thing the searcher was looking for — sometimes users want relevant, but related options listed as well.

8. Failure to test ad creative within important or high opportunity ad groups: You don’t have to test every ad. But the larger the current volume and potential volume, the more important it is to test ad creative.

9. Forgetting to test the marginal value of bidding for your own name and brands: People continue to ask me if they should bid on their name when they already have top organic position. Do a pulse test. Generally, the answer is yes.

10. Using the engine’s budgeting tools: Only you know the true value of a click. Don’t let the search engines send you less valuable clicks with lower profit due to a budget setting.

Bonus — failure to test geo targeting and dayparting: It’s not that hard to figure out. Should you bid more by time of day and geography? Absolutely.

via Top 10 Campaign Optimization Checklist – by ClickZ

Free SEO Tools & Search Engine Optimization Software

Getting the Most Out of SEO Tools

The 6 tools you need to use to become a highly-profitable SEO expert:

1. Search Analytics Tools – establish your marketing goals and establish a baseline for where you are at right now.

2. Keyword Research Tools – discover the keywords your customers are searching for right now.

3. Competitive Research Tools – see what keywords your competitors are targeting.

4. PPC Tools – buy important keywords and track the results to understand how well they convert,which helps you focus you organic SEO strategy on the most profitable keywords. Save money using these free Yahoo Search Marketing & Microsoft adCenter Coupons.

5. Link Analysis Tools – start building your link profile and track your progress compared to competing websites.

6. Search Engine Ranking Checkers – determine how effective your marketing is by watching your search engine rankings improve.

via Free SEO Tools & Search Engine Optimization Software.

SEO Tools | SEOmoz

SEOTools via SEO Tools | SEOmoz.

SEOmoz – HostingCon 2009 Keynote Presentation by Rand Fishkin

Linkscape FREE!

Linkscape

A professional quality inlink tool that uses patent-pending SEOmoz metrics. Inlinks, anchor text distribution and more. Linkscape’s metrics are also available in the Site Intelligence Service API.

Trifecta FREE!

Trifecta

Measures metrics to estimate the relative popularity and importance of Page, Blog or Domain. Trifecta replaces SEOmoz’s Page Strength tool.

Term Target FREE!

Term Target

Helps determine how targeted a particular page is for a specified keyword by analyzing a variety of factors.

SEOmoz Firefox Toolbar FREE!

SEOmoz Firefox Toolbar

The power of Linkscape is now available inside Firefox with the SEOmoz Toolbar.

SEOmoz Labs

SEOmoz Labs

SEOmoz Labs is a place where our more adventurous PRO users can check out the bleeding edge of SEOmoz technology and product design.

Rank Tracker

Rank Tracker

Check, track, and monitor your rankings at all the major search engines, including Google, Yahoo! and Bing.

Term Extractor Tool FREE!

Term Extractor

The term extractor tool analyzes the content of a given page and extracts the terms that appear to be targeted at search engines.

Crawl Test

Crawl Test

This tool helps quickly diagnose search engine crawling issues on your website – it examines title tags, http response codes, cache dates and presence in the search engine indexes.

GeoTargeting Detection Tool FREE!

GeoTargeting Detection

Discover how well your website is targeted to country specific search engines.

Keyword Difficulty

Keyword Difficulty

Used to analyze the competitive landscape of a particular keyword, this tool issues a percentage score and provides a detailed analysis of the top ranking sites at Google and Yahoo.

SEO Toolbox FREE!

SEO Toolbox

A collection of FREE Tools that will give you quick answers and aid in daily SEO activities.

5 Steps for Selecting an SEO Partner

5 Steps for Selecting an SEO Partner

MarketingSherpa’s 2007 search marketing benchmark report shows marketers who outsource get an average 110 percent lift in overall site traffic, whereas those who use in-house resources get an average 75 percent traffic lift. This makes outsourcing a viable option.

Hiring an outside firm

Hiring a search engine marketing firm or interactive agency to perform search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click advertising (PPC) is no easy task. There are many considerations, and it’s an important decision because search marketing is mission critical.

When you choose to outsource, the success of your selection process will directly affect your ability to compete and thrive as a business today and well into the future. If you outsource to a firm that doesn’t help meet your business goals, a failed partnership can result in resentment from both colleagues and stakeholders when you see the lift your competitors get with the right combination of SEO and PPC.

On the other hand, hiring the right SEM firm can have a positive affect on many different levels. You’ll look good to your colleagues and gain the respect of your stakeholders, while getting plenty of smiles and high-fives in the boardroom.

Finding the right SEO/SEM firm to meet your business goals is a five-step process. Start by educating yourself so you know enough about search marketing to make the right decision.

You’ll also want to check out some of the contenders through independent resources. While researching the capabilities of various firms, you’ll also be defining your own specific needs. These needs are then documented in your RFP. Lastly, personal interviews will ensure you make the right selection.

1. Education and training is key

Today’s business leaders depend on education and training to keep their staff nimble, up to date and competitive. Learning the fundamentals of search marketing can help you make an intelligent decision about outsourcing. Below are a few search marketing educational resources.

* SEMPO.org Learning Center, a non-profit organization, offers search marketing resources, including articles, case studies, webinars and research data. Fundamental and Advanced SEM Training Courses are available through the SEMPO Institute.
* Bruce Clay offers SEOToolSet, a training course based on years of search engine research and successful website optimization and training.
* Search Engine Academy provides SEO and SEM certification in two-, three- or five-day workshops depending on your needs.
* Interactive media and search marketing publishers such as iMedia Connection, ClickZ, SearchEngineWatch and Search Engine Land are excellent sources for expert advice on search engine marketing.
* Search marketing blogs often provide the latest information. Pandia lists the best search blogs here.
* Learn by attending one or more of the major industry trade shows: Search Engine Strategies Conference & Expo, SMX Search Marketing Expo, Webmaster World Pubcon and ad:tech.

2. Rely on independent sources to choose contenders

When evaluating search marketing firms, you’ll find they all say they’re the best, so it’s important to rely on independent resources to help make your decision. Third-party resources for finding qualified search marketing firms include industry trade organizations, research firms and search industry resource sites for finding qualified vendors. Another excellent source is trusted colleagues.

Crain Communications’ Advertising Age recently compiled its first comprehensive Search Marketing Fact Pack, an excellent resource for your business.

Piper Jaffray’s report, The User Revolution lists the “Top 20 SEM and SEO Companies” (page 267) in a chapter on advertising services and technologies.

Other resource sites include TopSEOs, which registers search marketing firms for the benefit of those seeking SEO/SEM services. The site evaluates the registrants, lists vendor information and provides a form for soliciting bids.
For trusted referrals, ask around at trade associations or industry meetings and seminars. Find out what firms people recommend and why.

3. Cast a wide net to define your specific needs

Many considerations come up when managing your internet presence. Some tasks require skill sets such as creative, art direction, site analytics, technical website development and programming. Your site may need email marketing, rich interactive media (video), ecommerce capability, content management system (CMS) and/or traditional advertising (print, direct mail, et cetera).

Because needs vary widely, the search for a qualified search marketing firm may require casting a wide net. For instance, measurement is a key factor to search marketing success. You may need a firm proficient with A/B and multivariate testing for tweaking landing pages. In that case, you must consider these capabilities in conjunction with your SEO/SEM outsourcing.

4. Create the RFP

Once you identify all the resources needed to fulfill your business goals, it is important to list and prioritize them clearly. Weed out anything that doesn’t align with your objectives. It’s important to select a search marketing firm that matches your needs rather than a firm that wants you to match theirs.

After pre-qualifying a list of at least three potential SEO/SEM partner/vendors, create a Request For Proposal (RFP) document outlining your list of needs and expectations, sending it to the finalists.

5. Make the final selection

Once you receive replies to your RFP, I recommend a face-to-face opportunity for interviewing and selecting the SEO/SEM firm that best fits your company’s structure and goals. While the internet has expanded our personal and business capabilities, some things still require eye contact and a handshake, and SEO/SEM is one of them. Always meet your search marketing team face to face before signing on the dotted line.

Body language tells it all. Meet with the team that will be responsible for helping you accomplish your online business goals. Be up-front about clarifying any questions on either side so tasks and goals are clear.

To summarize, outsourcing your search marketing project is a selection process that requires education, research and careful evaluation to find the right partner to help you meet your business goals. Don’t be sparing of your time and resources. It’s an important decision that will directly affect your bottom line now and for the years to come.
Thanks to imedia: www.imediaconnection.com